RealTime IT News

Moving to Monetize the Franchise

Continuing with its push to monetize the franchise, Yahoo! Inc.'s GeoCities unit launched two new fee-based packages -- GeoCities Pro and GeoCities Webmaster.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! said GeoCities remains a free service at base, but the premium packages "give consumers access to advanced page-building tools and features including personal domain names that offer greater storage capacity, further personalization and more flexibility with their individual Web sites."

Yahoo! has been aggressively trying to diversify its revenue stream to lessen its dependence on Internet advertising, currently in rather large decline.

The GeoCities Pro package is priced at $8.95 per month with a one-time $15 set-up fee. It gives consumers a personal domain name), five e-mail accounts linked to that domain, 25 megabytes of storage, 10 gigabytes of data transfer, and five sub-domains that help organize and direct viewers through the site.

For $11.95 per month plus the $15 set-up fee, the Webmaster service offers double the amount of storage space, data transfer, personal e-mail accounts and sub-domains. The Webmaster package also includes access to 20 Site Wizard templates for building professional, multi-page sites and allows customers to add a search function to their site.

For an additional $5 per month, Pro and Webmaster consumers can add extra storage in 50 megabyte increments.

The new offerings "are perfect examples of how we are adding premium services to our network when and where they deliver the most value to our users," said Mark Feldman, senior producer at Yahoo! GeoCities. The services "enhance the overall user experience by responding to their requests for more sophisticated and high-quality page-building tools at competitively low prices," he said.

Yahoo! acquired GeoCities back in 1999. The portal has been responding to the ad slump by turning to e-commerce and other venues, but the company said in July that it predicts several more quarters of serious trouble in the ad market.